In the excellent Modcast that’s now available over at Fraser’s blog, Fraser asked everyone what they thought would be coming up next year in affiliate marketing. Here’s the answers no one gave him….
January: The January sales are already in full swing and affiliates are enjoying the traditional post Christmas commissions. However, within the first week some merchants announce that they’re not paying commission on any sales items. “Don’t worry” they tell affiliates “you can still earn a massive 2% on all our other items”!
February: Promote now for Valentine’s Day is the message from all networks. Love and heart style banners are uploaded on 15th February replacing the Christmas ones from 2006. Some merchants announce that they’re not going to pay out on Valentine gifts or sales items. “Don’t worry” they tell affiliates “you can earn an industry leading 1.5% on all other items”!
March: It’s the month of the Buy.at Roadshows. Due to a dodgy SatNav instead of stopping at Bristol they cross the Severn Bridge and discover Wales is part of the UK and we do have electricity! Some merchants cut commissions on Easter products to 0% as they’re in big demand and affiliates might earn money on chocolate related items.
April: A new cashback site is launched called the 110percenters. They now pay consumers to shop and immediately have a huge impact across the whole affiliate community. 100% cashback sites are in uproar and start asking for networks for support and help to counter this new threat. The general response is “don’t worry there’s nothing to worry about”!
May: Several new networks are launched by either affiliates, agencies or former network employees. All say they’re going to be different. All use Direct Track software. “Trade.at Future Window” suggest they’ll have just unique merchants – they don’t!
June: “Trade.at Future Window” close after just five weeks in order to review their tracking, programs and their place in the market place. They also forgot to pay affiliates. “We were just too unique and offered something different, but all affiliates thought we were the best” they say quoting an obscure affiliate blog who had them as their “number one network”.
July: Cashback site 110percenters is brought back down to earth with a bump with the launch of wegiveyoucashtoshop. They offer 150% or at least Â£2 cashback – even on the 0% items of the month which are unveiled as holidays and travel gear.
August: Everyone has gone on holiday so no one notices that some merchants have cut commission as it’s a “quiet month”.
September: Back to school stuff is selling like hot cakes. No one though is making any sales except wegiveyoucashtoshop who are now paying 200% cashback combined with “double your voucher discount” offers. Merchants who cut commission in August announce that they’ve raised commission and that’s a good reason to promote them – along with their “huge 1% commission rate”.
October: It’s the second A4UExpo! The event is a massive success again with commission cuts and cashback sites high on the agenda. Despite the huge turn out of affiliates, it turns out they are still outnumbered by networks. Shopping via your mobile is touted as the “big thing for 2009” after failing to be the “big thing for 2008”.
November: Christmas is coming, which is good as some mechants still have last year’s banners in place! Some merchants take the opportunity to close their programs with hardly any notice, before re-opening again on another network a few days later. Nintendo Wiis are still hard to get. Several merchants insist that affiliates actually pay them for every sale of the much sought after console.
December: Due to paying out more than they actually earn wegiveyoucashtoshop and 110percenters are forced to close down after not being paid by new network “Double Paid Futures”. Content affiliates start to enjoy Mega Mondays, Terrific Tuesdays, Wonderful Wednesdays, Triumphant Thursdays, Fantastic Fridays, Stunning Saturdays and Superb Sundays right up to Christmas as merchants triple commissions in a last ditch attempt to get them back onside!
So, what do you think will really be happening in 2008?